One of these commercials for Clorets mints is being billed as the first campaign from McCann Erickson Japan's new AI creative director. The other is the work of a human.
One is about a flying dog. The other features a barefoot calligrapher. Mondelez brand Clorets Mint Tab is asking the Japanese public to vote on which ad is more effective, without telling people which one is the product of artificial intelligence. There are no subtitles, but both ads are pretty straightforward.
McCann announced back in March that an "AI creative director" named AI-CD ß would be joining its staff, and that the project had been developed by McCann's millennial employees. Though the whole thing made for some attention-getting headlines, the fine print made it clear the cyborg creative is actually more of a data analysis program dressed up like R2-D2.
The team of millennials analyzed and tagged past TV commercials, including winners at Japan's All Japan Radio & Television Commercial Confederation's annual CM Festival. The AI creative was "designed to mine the Festival's database and creatively direct the optimal commercial for any given product or message," McCann said at the time.
As it turns out, the cyborg creative director makes its human minions do most of the grunt work. Mondelez asked a human and AI-CD ß to come up with a creative direction to explain the product's benefits: It freshens the mouth immediately with one tablet, and the freshness lasts for 10 minutes.
The human CD, Mitsuru Kuramoto, who is also a successful TV writer, proposed something completely straightforward: "convey a clear refreshing message." His AI counterpart came up with this brain-teaser: "convey 'wild' with a song in an urban tone, leaving an image of refreshment with a feeling of liberation."